Bedbugs infest Trenton Police lockup, city says issue being ‘monitored’

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Trenton police headquarters on North Clinton Avenue.  

TRENTON — By Isaac Avilucea — July 25, 2019

Prisoners at police lockup were given a cruel and unusual punishment.

They endured a bedbug infestation, according to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The city said it has made efforts to eliminate the creepy crawlers which had reportedly taken up residence in some of the cells at Trenton Police lockup, feasting on detainees and city workers.

Employees in lockup brought their concerns to the police administration and the union.

Mayor Reed Gusciora was unaware of the infestation until The Trentonian reached him for comment Thursday.

He reached out to police director Sheilah Coley and then called the newspaper back to assure that the bedbug problem was being handled and under control.

“It’s an unfortunate occurrence of city life,” he said.

The mayor’s spokesman, Connor Ilchert, released a statement later in the day saying, “TPD has been looked over by exterminators and inspectors, and has been sprayed twice to satisfy any complaints. The issue is continuing to be monitored to ensure that city employees are operating in a safe working environment.”

Ilchert said exterminators treated the lockup area July 5 and again July 11. Bedbug infestations can be difficult to eliminate and sometimes require several treatments.

More bedbugs found at Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton
Photo from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of a common bedbug.

Workers complained to brass and union officials fearing the creepy crawlers might tag along on their clothes, causing an infestation at their homes.

City police union president Michael Schiaretti declined to comment on the infestation saying the city appeared to be taking care of the problem. He planned to monitor the issue.

Bedbugs are just one of the issues that have recently hampered deteriorating Trenton infrastructure. Engine 8 firehouse on Stuyvesant Avenue was temporary shuttered due to safety concerns.

Firefighters were relocated to another firehouse for a few days until the city corrected the structural issues with the floor. The firehouse has since reopened.

As far as the critters, the city is hardly alone in dealing with them. They’ve been discovered at several buildings in the Trenton area over the years.

In 2016, the Mercer County Board of Social Services dealt with them in 2016. Officials there fell victim to an urban legend recommending employees use Bounce dryer sheets to wipe down clothing to eradicate the pests.

That prompted Proctor and Gamble, the maker of the Bounce dryer sheets, to release a statement to The Trentonian debunking the myth.

The blood-sucking parasites were also discovered that year in at least three state buildings, including at the Department of Health.

Ann Klein Forensic Center in Trenton also suffered a bedbug invasion in 2015.

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Woman claims son was bit by bed bugs at local hotel

WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — by Ryan Trowbridge and Audrey Russo

A woman who stayed for a night in a West Springfield hotel is speaking out after she says her son got bit by bed bugs.

Czhanell McCray doesn’t live in western Massachusetts, but she wanted to warn travelers locally and spoke exclusively with Western Mass News about how a few small bugs caused bigger problems for her family.

“On our way home, early afternoon, he really started profusely scratching really bad,” McCray said.

After a day of shooting hoops in a local basketball tournament, McCray’s 14-year-old son was taking home more than a trophy.

McCray told us over video chat that the night before, something had bitten her son.

“I just said mosquitoes must have, you know, gotten a hold of you,” McCray added.

However. the scratching got worse and after taking her son to urgent care, McCray noted, “the doctor didn’t even want to touch him. She just, you know, looked at him and said well, this is the bed bug situation here.”

McCray showed Western Mass News the doctor’s note with the diagnosis. She said she called the hotel where she and her son stayed – the Hampton Inn in West Springfield – to report the issue.

“Just want to make people aware to, when they’re coming to any hotel, just to make sure that they, which I found out they, strip down the bed, check the bed boards, look up under the mattresses,” McCray said.

We went to the West Springfield Health Department. Their records show two bed bugs were found by a pest management company a few days after McCray and her son checked out.

The report showed the bugs were likely introduced recently to the room and that it was treated and ventilated.

Western Mass News reached out to the Hampton Inn and they said “The hotel employs a comprehensive detection program which maintains the highest levels of vigilance.” They went on to say that they refunded McCray’s stay, but McCray said the issue will end up costing her more in extermination fees.

“Now we have to, out of inconvenience, have to get my home bombed,” McCray said.

Health department officials said they’ve seen increase in community bed bug reports in the last five years.

“The fact that people travel so much has increased the likelihood of being exposed,” said West Springfield public health nurse Mary Allen.

Health officials said the best thing you can do is check your hotel bed before sleeping in it, along mattress seams, headboards, and baseboards.

“They’re not as small as a tick, they’re a little bit bigger…like an adult would probably be the size of a normal house fly,” said Lauren Kennedy with the West Springfield Health Department.

Something, the size of a fly has caused much bigger problems for McCray’s family.

“The uncomfortability that he’s saying, the pain that he’s saying. How many showers that he has to take, he’s home from school. I’m taking half days from work just to come check on him to make sure he’s all right. The doctors tell him that’s going to take awhile for this thing to go away,” McCray said.

Poisoned for Profit: We Are Not the Agrochemical Industry’s Guinea Pigs

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by Colin Todhunter / July 27th, 2019

Environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason has just written to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Chemicals Regulation Division (HSE) in the UK claiming that the glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup has poisoned her nature reserve in South Wales and is also poisoning people across the UK (she includes herself here, as she struggles with a neurodegenerative condition). She notes that the widespread spraying of glyphosate went against the advice of directive 2009/128/EC of the European parliament but was carried out at the behest of the agrochemicals industry.

Mason has sent a 24-page fully referenced document with her letter in support of her claims. It can be accessed in full here. What follows is a brief summary of just a few of the take-home points. There is a lot more in Mason’s document, much of which touches on issues she has previously covered but which nonetheless remain relevant.

The thrust of her open letter to these agencies is that glyphosate is a major contributory factor in spiralling rates of disease and conditions affecting the UK population. She also makes it clear that official narratives — pushed by the pesticides industry, the media and various key agencies — have deliberately downplayed or ignored the role of agrochemicals in this. Instead, the focus has been on the role of alcohol use and obesity, conveniently placing the blame on individual behaviour and the failure of people to opt for ‘healthy lifestyle’ choices.

Mason argues that Monsanto emails released into the public domain have revealed that Roundup was kept on the market by capturing regulatory agencies, corrupting public officials, bribing scientists and engaging in scientific fraud. In addition, she notes that documents show that the European Commission bowed to the demands of pesticide lobbies. Former PM David Cameron, Defra, the European Food Safety Authority, the European Commission and the European Chemicals Agency all ignored the warnings that GM crops and Roundup were hazardous to human health and the environment.

In the run-up to the relicensing of glyphosate in the EU, Mason states that in its analysis the Glyphosate Task Force omitted key studies from South America (where herbicide-tolerant GM crops are grown) that associate Roundup with cancer, birth defects, infertility, DNA damage and neurotoxicity. She refers to many studies in support of her claim that glyphosate is deleterious to human health and the environment. It is worth noting that the European Chemicals Agency has classified glyphosate as a substance causing serious eye damage and toxic to aquatic life with long-lasting effects.

Mason reserves a special place for Cancer Research UK (CRUK) in her letter, saying that the agency has been hi-jacked by the pesticides industry and has persuaded key figures in the medical establishment to repeat certain claims: that alcohol, cigarette smoking and obesity are the main causes of cancer. She argues that Monsanto and the US EPA have known for a long time that Roundup is carcinogenic.

CRUK recently made a bold statement about its vision to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. However, Mason asserts this is fantasy for public consumption. She argues there are a huge number of cancers in the UK and their prevalence is increasing each year in tandem with the rising use of glyphosate and other agrochemicals.

Mason provides the statistics:

In the UK, there were 13,605 new cases of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2015 (and 4,920 deaths in 2016): there were 41,804 new cases of bowel cancer in 2015 (and 16,384 deaths in 2016); 12,547 new cases of kidney cancer in 2015 (and 4,619 deaths in 2016); 5,736 new cases of liver cancer in 2015 (5,417 deaths in 2016); 15,906 new cases of melanoma in 2015 (2,285 deaths in 2016); 3,528 new cases of thyroid cancer in 2015 (382 deaths in 2016); 10,171 new cases of bladder cancer in 2015 (5,383 deaths in 2016); 8,984 new cases of uterine cancer in 2015 (2,360 deaths in 2016); 7,270 cases of ovarian cancer in 2015 (4,227 deaths in 2016); 9,900 new cases of leukaemia in 2015 (4,712 deaths in 2016); 55,122 new cases of invasive breast cancer in 2015 (11,563 deaths in 2016); 47,151 new cases of prostate cancer in 2015 (11,631 deaths in 2016); 9,211 new cases of oesophageal cancer in 2015 (8,004 deaths in 2016); and 5,540 new cases of myeloma in 2015 (3,079 deaths in 2016); 2,288 new cases of testicular cancer in 2015 (57 deaths in 2016); 9,921 new cases of pancreatic cancer in 2015 (9,263 deaths in 2016); 11,432 new cases of brain cancer in 2015 (5,250 deaths in 2016); 46,388 new cases of lung cancer in 2015 (and 35,620 deaths in 2016). In the US in 2014 there were 24,050 new cases of myeloma.

Arguing that UK farmers are “drowning” their crops in pesticides, Mason notes that it is therefore not surprising that Pesticide Action Network UK’s analysis of the last 12 years of residue data (published by the Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food) shows there are unacceptable levels of pesticides present in the food provided through the Department of Health’s (DoH) School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme (SFVS).

Residues of 123 different pesticides were found, some of which are linked to serious health problems such as cancer and disruption of the hormone system. Moreover, residues contained on SFVS produce were higher than those in produce tested under the national residue testing scheme (mainstream produce found on supermarket shelves). However, Mason says that when PAN-UK sent its findings to the DOH, the agency was told that pesticides are not the concern of the DoH.

Perhaps they should be, given what Baskut Tuncak, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights and hazardous substances and wastes, stated in 2017:

Our children are growing up exposed to a toxic cocktail of weed killers, insecticides and fungicides. It’s on their food and in their water, and it’s even doused over their parks and playgrounds. Many governments insist that our standards of protection from these pesticides are strong enough. But as a scientist and a lawyer who specialises in chemicals and their potential impact on people’s fundamental rights, I beg to differ.

He added:

Paediatricians have referred to childhood exposure to pesticides as creating a ‘silent pandemic’ of disease and disability. Exposure in pregnancy and childhood is linked to birth defects, diabetes, and cancer. Because a child’s developing body is more sensitive to exposure than adults and takes in more of everything – relative to their size, children eat, breathe, and drink much more than adults – they are particularly vulnerable to these toxic chemicals. Increasing evidence shows that even at ‘low’ doses of childhood exposure, irreversible health impacts can result.

Tuncak says that most victims cannot prove the cause of their disability or disease and this limits our ability to hold those responsible to account. But this is changing. The public is becoming increasingly aware of the industry’s criminal strategy for keeping Roundup on the market, thanks to the various high-profile litigations in the US. Maybe it’s time for the (taxpayer-funded) agencies Rosemary Mason has continually written to over the years to finally act in the public interest. Or would that be too much to expect?

In finishing, we should take note of the current orchestrated campaign (cheer-led by those outside of India with industry links) to get herbicide-tolerant seeds planted in India. Aside from Bt cotton, GM crops are not allowed in the country. This cynical campaign is aimed at increasing GM seed, glyphosate and other toxic agrochemical sales. Given increasingly saturated markets elsewhere, the global GM seed and herbicide industry regards India as a massive potential money spinner.

However, Punjab took the lead in 2018 and banned glyphosate. Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have since followed. But there is still no nationwide ban. With this in mind, author and academic Ashwani Mahajan has started a petition campaign (here) to stop the use of glyphosate in India.

He says that pesticide companies are taking advantage of farmers’ ignorance about the deadly risks associated with glyphosate. Mahajan notes that industry is sending its agents to approach farmers directly and trap them with attractive promotional offers. This is part of a wider strategy to get farmers to break with effective traditional practices and lure them onto agrochemical (and GMO) treadmills as described in the 2017 paper The Ox Fall Down: Path Breaking and Technology Treadmills in Indian Cotton Agriculture (Glenn Stone and Andrew Flachs).

Farmers are being subjected to slick PR and lured because they are told this herbicide is a cost-effective method to kill weeds quickly. What they are not told is that its effectiveness is limited, that it’s a health and environmental hazard and that it’s a risk to their lives. But it’s not just farmers’ lives that are at risk. We just need to look at the statistics provided earlier in this article to realise the risk to the wider public health.

Battling bed bugs? They’re spreading around Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. – Maher Kawash – July 26, 2019 – You may want to check your home and office for bed bugs.

Did we mention your favorite coffee shop isn’t safe either?

Bed bugs are popping up in homes, offices, and even stores around Spokane in larger than usual numbers.

Buying pest spray from the story may not cut it. Instead, you’ll need a couple thousand dollars to get rid of those bed bugs.

4 News Now spoke to a family in Medical Lake, whose home was infested with bed bugs which they believe came home with their daughter from Downtown Spokane.

“The bugs are downtown though I’m 99 percent sure they came home on my daughter,” Gail Vanamburg said.

VanAmburg says her daughter works at the Spokane Public Library four days a week and always comes home directly after that on the bus.

4 News Now reached out to the library but hasn’t heard back.

When we spoke to the Spokane Transit Authority, they told us they inspect and clean their buses every night.

Pest control expert Raymond VanderLouw said it’s really a matter of more people carrying their stuff around with them when they travel.  He said those bed bugs can get in backpacks, sleeping bags, and blankets before moving onto your body or other belongings.

A majority of what we end up treating are multi-family units, we do some hospitality spots, we have treated coffee shops, clinics, imaging centers. There are a lot of places that we’re seeing them that I honestly didn’t think we would end up seeing them.” VanderLouw said.

He also says the most common place for bed bugs is used furniture.
It’s easier than you’d think for bed bugs to move around in public, sitting in people’s bags, purses, or strollers.

So how do you know if you’re at risk? Well, it’s all about awareness.

“You got to assume there’s bed bugs in everything. I assume there’s bed bugs everywhere I go, and because I’m aware and I take those steps, I protect myself and my family,” VanderLouw said.

Mother fears Marion movie theater has bedbugs again

 

MARION, Ind. (WTHR)| by Emily Longnecker | July 26, 2019 – It was supposed to be a family outing to see a movie classic.

“We went to ‘The Lion King.’ We were in Theatre 9,” said mom Sheila Ruley of her trip to the AMC Classic Theatre in Marion last week with her kids.

The visit, said Ruley, was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

“Within about 10 minutes, I felt a bite,” Ruley recalled.

When Ruley used her phone’s flashlight, she saw something had bitten her.

“I had a bunch of bites all over my arms,” Ruley explained, adding that with each second that passed, the swelling on those bites just got worse.

When she lifted up the armrest of her seat, she said she saw bedbugs there.

“There was four of them just crawling right on the armrest,” said Ruley.

The mom said she knows what they look like, because a guest in her home three years ago brought them to her house.

“It’s a nightmare. We had to get all new furniture, all new mattresses. It was a nightmare, so I don’t want to deal with it again,” Ruley said.

When Ruley said she told the manager about the bedbugs, she said they suggested she had a mosquito bite instead.

“I said I know what bedbugs are,” Ruley recalled. “She goes, ‘I forgot to tell you someone had ticks in here the other day, so it might be ticks.'”

Ruley wasn’t buying it.

“I’m like, ‘Ticks don’t bite. They bite and then crawl under your skin’,” Ruley said she told the manager.

This isn’t the first time a visitor to the Marion theater has complained that bedbugs bit them. Last November, Eyewitness News spoke with a woman who told us she was bitten all over her legs and arms.

The Grant County Health Department came in and found there was a problem, finding evidence of bedbugs and their eggs.

The theater manager told Eyewitness News they couldn’t comment on the situation this time, that only a corporate spokesperson could. We tried to get through to someone at AMC’s corporate offices and couldn’t.

Ruley said she tried to call, too, a few times, and said she was put on hold.

“Been on there 45 minutes both times and the other time I emailed and got a message and have not gotten anything back,” said Ruley.

That’s why this mom did a Facebook post to warn others about what she says happened to her.

“It more disappointed me because I’m there to enjoy family time. I shouldn’t have to get up and take care of a situation,” said Ruley.

She said the manager gave her six free passes to make up for it, but until Ruley has some answers about what she believes is anther bedbug issue, she’ll pass on those passes.

Bees are dying. Would a consumer ban on a pesticide help?

Bees pollinate almost three-quarters of the 100 crop species that provide 90 percent of the world’s food supply, say advocates working on a campaign to protect bees from insecticides.

Last week, the grassroots group Environment North Carolina delivered a petition with 13,452 signatures to Gov. Roy Cooper’s office, calling for a consumer ban on the sale and use of neonicotinoids (neonics) pesticides. Advocates gathered in downtown Raleigh, not far from regional headquarters for Syngenta and other businesses like Bayer and Dow Chemical that manufacture neonics and say their products are safe when applied according to label directions.

Every winter for the past 12 years, about 30 percent of commercial honeybee hives in the United States have collapsed because of diseases, parasites, poor nutrition, pesticides and other issues, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Services has said.

While pesticides aren’t the only cause, they contribute to the problem, according to the department, which recommends gardeners use pesticides sparingly or not at all.

Drew Ball, state director of Environment North Carolina, believes banning sales to consumers in the state would be a step in the right direction toward bigger bans.

Maryland and Connecticut have banned the sale of neonics to consumers, said state Rep. Pricey Harrison. The European Union has banned neonics and Canada is phasing them out.

Harrison is one of the sponsors of House Bill 559, also known as the Pollinator Protection Act. The bill, whose primary sponsors also include Reps. Chuck McGrady, John Ager and Mitchell Setzer, stalled in committee this spring.

Concerns about agricultural pesticides are not new, said Hannah Burrack, professor of entomology at N.C. State University. People disagree because there are positive and negative effects, so it’s a trade-off, she said.

“The thing that gets glossed over in the discussions of banning neonics is that the pests themselves aren’t going to go away in these farming systems,” said Burrack, who is also an extension specialist. “Something needs to be done to manage them, and that something might become a more toxic pesticide if this one is removed. That needs to be a part of the conversation.”

A Google search can yield numerous alternatives to insecticides, like using fabric covers to keep pests off crops. The Natural Resource Conservation Service suggests people who do use insecticides should choose products with less harmful ingredients and spray them on dry evenings after dark when bees are not active.

Neonicotinoids are classified as a “general pesticide” by the EPA, which means no training or licensing is required to use them.

Consumers, who may not know as much as farmers about the chemicals they are using, often over-apply neonics, at a time when non-farming regions have become increasingly important habitats for bees, said Libba Rollins, Environment North Carolina’s campaign lead.

“Private citizens aren’t typically aware of the impact this has on pollinator population,” Ball explained. “A lot of people are buying these over the counter without recognizing the effect.”

Environment North Carolina is seeking a consumer ban because “bees are dying at record rates,” Ball said. “Beekeepers report losing an average of 30 percent of all honeybee colonies each winter, roughly twice the loss considered sustainable. A recent study found that more than half of all (wild) bees are in decline, too.”

It is not clear if neonics are causing the decline in wild bees, Burrack said. “There is limited science available and it’s harder to research wild bees because they can’t be raised in captivity,” she said.

However, fewer wild bees could affect crop production. North Carolina is fourth in pumpkin production, seventh in cantaloupe, apple and tomato production, eighth in squash and watermelon production and ninth in cabbage production, and all of these crops require pollinators, including wild bees, Rollins said.

Bayer, Dow, Monsanto and Syngenta are some of the biggest producers of neonics and say they should not be blocked or banned.

“Neonicotinoids are rigorously tested before going to market to ensure they can be used safely and effectively while allowing bees and other pollinators to thrive,” Syngenta said a statement to The News & Observer. “The weight of scientific evidence clearly shows that bees and other pollinators can coexist safely with neonicotinoid insecticides when product labels are followed.”

Bayer agreed, adding that the potential exposure to bees by consumer application is far below levels that would cause concern.

“Distinguishing toxicity from risk is a routine activity performed by most of us, even if we’re unaware we’re doing so,” Bayer said in its statement. “For example, caffeine is more toxic than many pesticides, yet we drink it in coffee without fear because the levels are so low.”

In 2014, Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement company, announced that it had stopped treating 80 percent of flowering plants with neonics and would completely stop using neonics in flowering plants by 2018.

Lowe’s Home Improvement announced in 2015 that it would phase out neonics after the EPA announced it would stop approving new uses of the pesticide.

While groups disagree about bans, insecticides like neonics are part of a larger discussion about how our food is grown, Burrack said.

“I believe the best solution is to use the whole suite of pest-management tools we have available to us,” she said. “We monitor insect populations and select the least disruptive treatment available to us which in some cases is chemical control or not chemical-based controls.”

 

How Do Bed Bugs Travel from Room to Room -Keep Them Out

Curious how do bed bugs travel from room to room? It’s important to take preventive measures, because of how quickly they can spread in your home.

How Do Bed Bugs Travel from Room to RoomHow Do Bed Bugs Travel from Room to Room

(Newswire.net — July 17, 2019) — Bed bugs can be a real nuisance when they invade your home. A bedbug infestation often means you’ll struggle to sleep in peace because they like to feed on blood by sucking through your skin when you’re asleep. Have you ever wondered how do bed bugs travel from room to room? They spread fast and also breed at a high rate. Before taking any pest control measures, it’s important to understand how they migrate, so you can have a better idea of how to eliminate them.

How Do Bed Bugs Travel from Room to Room

Just like you want to know the signs of a rat infestation and how to eliminate them, it’s the same when it comes to bed bugs. Bed bugs can spread rather quickly, so it’s important to be prepared so you can eliminate the bed bugs before they spread too much. Below are various ways bed bugs can travel to your home and spread to multiple rooms.

Through Breeding

Bedbugs mature fast and the females can lay eggs at a rate of four to seven eggs daily. The eggs are laid in dark places and will usually stick on any hard surfaces such as wood. This makes them spread fast, especially if the eggs are laid on furniture and you move to a different place. Female bed bugs can lay a total of 200 eggs, especially in dark, isolated spaces. The eggs will usually hatch within a week or two.

Through the Movement of Infested Items

Bed bugs live in furniture, beds, bedding or clothing. If you move any of these infested items, then it can carry the bugs, and they’ll continue breeding in the new room or place where the furniture was moved to if the conditions are favorable.

Crawling

Bed bugs are very good at crawling. They can crawl very fast when it’s dark. For instance, if you feel some bites while you’re asleep and decide to turn on the lights, the chances are you won’t even find one as they travel fast to their hiding places. If you live in an apartment, bed bugs can spread to every home through cracks. They’re also resilient to many pesticides and should you decide to spray an infested home, they simply move to the next room or home.

Movement of People

Whenever people put on clothes that are infested by bed bugs, they move them to other places where they land. For instance, one can collect bugs from one room to another or from a friend’s house to their home. These pests can also spread through traveling with infested packaging boxes and suitcases when one is moving from one residence to another.

Resilience and Resistance

Bed bugs are extremely adaptive and resilient. They can survive for up to seventy days without feeding and can live for several months if well fed. They’re also very sensitive and search for their prey by sensing heat from the human body and carbon dioxide from the mouth. When feeding, they pierce the human body through the skin and spit some saliva that contains chemicals that make you insensitive until they have finished.

Bottom Line

It goes without saying that bed bugs spread fast and their ability to hide in dark spaces encourages their spread. A single infestation can turn into a full-blown infestation in no time, which is why it’s important to keep them awayfrom your home. Once you have an answer to the question: how do bed bugs travel from room to room, you can take necessary precautions and measures.

Always inspect for bed bugs when traveling, getting used furniture

Tahlequah Daily Press |Oklahoma | July 19, 2019 | by Heather Winn

Bed bugs might be small, but they can cause big problems. After decades of barely registering on the pest control radar in the U.S., the insects have re-emerged as a concern in recent years.

Even though bed bugs aren’t known for carrying diseases, they can still make life difficult by causing discomfort, sleeplessness, anxiety, and even embarrassment. Being watchful can help avoid a problem or at least allow for early detection and professional intervention.

Small, reddish brown and flat, adult bed bugs measure about 3/16-inch long and can be mistaken for cockroaches or ticks. The pests, which are mainly active at night, like to feed on humans. Bed bugs do not fly, but they do bite. Although reactions to being bitten vary from person to person, generally people may experience itchy, red welts or localized swelling within a day or two.

Bed bugs can live in almost any crevice or protected area; however, the pests are commonly found in beds and sleeping areas, and particularly in the seams, tufts and crevices of mattresses, box springs and headboards. They also can make themselves at home in upholstered chairs and sofas, especially if the furniture is used for sleeping, as well as in the cracks, crevices and recesses of nightstands and dressers.

Other favorite hiding places for the bugs include along the edge and just underneath wall-to-wall carpet; cracks in crown molding; behind wall-mounted picture frames, mirrors, switch plates and outlets; and inside clocks, phones, televisions and smoke detectors.

Cleanliness usually has nothing to do with the potential for a bed bug infestation. Traveling is a common way people come in contact with the pests. They can be imported through luggage, clothing, and even a person’s shoes. Secondhand furniture, including beds and couches, can serve as entry points as well.

There are some steps homeowners and travelers can take to try to prevent an infestation. For instance, travelers are advised to quickly inspect their hotel rooms before settling in. Pull back all of the bedding at the head of the bed, check the underside of the mattress tag and the seams of the mattress and box springs. In addition to mature bed bugs, look for the light brown molted skin of nymphs (immature bed bugs) and dark spots of dried excrement. If you find any evidence of bed bugs, report it immediately to management and request a different room.

To minimize exposure in hotel rooms, pull the luggage stand away from the wall and place bags on it, keep clothing in the suitcase – rather than placing belongings in dresser drawers – and use a flashlight to inspect the closet before hanging clothes. Shoes should be placed in an open area. After returning home, consider unpacking your luggage immediately and in a location other than the bedroom such as the garage, mudroom, or entry way of your home. Wash your clothes promptly and carefully check the luggage for bed bugs.

At home, residents should carefully scrutinize any used and refurbished furniture items, and especially beds and couches, before bringing them inside. Homeowners also should avoid taking any furniture items from dumpsters or curbsides, no matter their apparent condition.

In cases of infestation, effective eradication of the pests often requires trained, experienced professionals. However, because insecticides cannot be used to treat infested and exposed bedding, garments and other items, those things should be bagged and laundered at a minimum temperature of 120 degrees, or placed in a dryer for 20 minutes on medium to high heat. Freezing items at below 32 degrees Fahrenheit for multiple days also may work.

For more information, or to schedule a program locally about financial management, nutrition, health and wellness, parenting education, or Oklahoma Home and Community Education, contact the OSU Cooperative Extension Service in Cherokee County by phone at 918-456-6163.

Heather Winn is a family and consumer sciences educator for the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service in Cherokee County.

Bedbugs a growing problem in Vermont

WCAX3 | By Kiernan Brisson 

WINOOSKI, Vt. (WCAX) An invasive species may be more of a pest in our area than you think. We are talking about bedbugs and their presence in Vermont has grown since their sudden reappearance in 2005.

But as our Kiernan Brisson reports, many people are reluctant to talk about infestations because of the stigma attached to bedbugs.

A bedbug infestation was recently reported in an apartment building on Follett Street in Winooski.

“Currently the city is aware of an infestation in a unit. We had been alerted to the infestation through someone who didn’t want to be identified,” said John Audy, the city’s director of code enforcement.

The bugs were first detected in one apartment before spreading to three others.

But this isn’t an isolated incident. Since 2005, the state of Vermont has seen constant growth in the number of bedbug cases and exterminations.

“So bedbugs are hard to get rid of… And I also know because I’ve talked to friends who work in the housing industry in Burlington and they’ve also seen a huge increase in the number of bedbugs,” Vt. State Entomologist Judy Rosovsky said.

“So just from a percentage standpoint of how much bedbug work we’ve grown in a sense, I mean in the last five years about 105% increase in the bedbug work that we’re doing,” said Brandon Hier, the district manager of pest control company Ehrlich.

Bedbug cases in the state range from apartment complexes to hotels to family homes, but contrary to popular belief, the infestations have nothing to do with cleanliness.

“Really I wish that stigma would go away. It’s absolutely nothing to do with people’s lifestyle or standard of living. They’re not attracted to dirt, they want us; they want our blood,” Rosovsky explained.

“They are very intrusive and it doesn’t matter if you’re clean or not clean, they are hitchhikers,” Audy said.

The best way to stay bedbug free is to eliminate the possibility that they are tracked into your residence. Bedbugs are hitchhikers, often brought home by travelers.

“So you need to watch what’s coming through your front door, it’s the best thing you can do,” Hier advised. “Anything you can put in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes is going to come out bedbug-free. If you have items like, I don’t know, a hard-shell suitcase, you could simply clean that, a good scrubbing with some soap, not taking in used furniture, that’s the biggest thing we’ve seen.”

The Burlington Housing Authority would not comment on the case in Winooski. They did say they are working with the tenant and the landlord to resolve the infestation issue.

Class-action lawsuit claims Las Cruces apartment complex rodent-, bug-infested

A class-action lawsuit against an allegedly rodent- and bug-ridden apartment complex in Las Cruces is about to get bigger.

A judge ruled Friday that Desert Palms Apartments must release the names of all tenants from September 2012 to September 2018.

Current and former tenants told KFOX14 their apartments were infested with mice and bugs.

One woman said she complained to management and was told it was all in her head.

As Baudisch was driving away, she said the landlord started recording her on her phone. Baudisch said she rolled down the window and told her she wanted to ask about the lawsuit. Baudisch says the woman replied, “I know” and kept recording.

One tenant said the conditions at her apartment caused her to get sick.

“Really bad stomachaches, a lot of vomiting. The doctor kept saying, ‘Let’s try different things,’ and different things, well, nothing ever evidently was working, because I didn’t even fathom that mice could live in your stove,” said Erica Olivas.

Olivas said her mystery illness was caused by cooking on a stove full of mice feces.

A rodent allegedly trapped at Desert Palms Apartments in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

“I talked to a lady last week who has bedbugs and the manager said why doesn’t she scoop a bedbug up and show it to her,” Olivas said.

Below are images of a seventh grade boy who allegedly has bedbug bites all over his body from Desert Palms Apartments:

Photos of a seventh grader allegedly covered in bedbug bites from Desert Palms Apartments in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

“We are overrun with rodents, roaches. We had smoke detector systems, we thought batteries were low, but when they took the smoke detector down, it was so full of roaches and roach feces that they cleaned it out and put it back up, and it was fine,” said Donald Boyce.

Boyce, a veteran, said he believes some people don’t complain because they are afraid of getting evicted and being homeless.

“They use such intimidating tactics. ‘Well, you know you’re disabled, but you’re only paying so much rent.’ They would, more or less, make you feel low,” Boyce said.

“A lot of people living there, it’s the first place they’re living from either living in a car or (being) through hard times,” Olivas said.

Victor Ortiz said he sleeps on an air mattress because of the bedbugs.

“I threw away an old desk, my bed I had for a couple years and a lot of my clothing,” Ortiz said.

Insects allegedly trapped at Desert Palms Apartments in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Olivas, Boyce and Ortiz are just three of 59 members of the class-action lawsuit.

With the judge’s ruling, the class-action lawsuit could be getting larger as former tenants add their claims.

Many tenants at the apartment complex have low incomes or are seniors, disabled or veterans who may qualify for Section 8 housing funds.

The Las Cruces Housing Authority, the Mesilla Valley Public Housing Authority and the company hired by the city to carry out inspections will not comment because of the ongoing litigation.

JL Gray Company, which owns Desert Palms Apartments, has not yet responded to a request for comment.

The lead plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit are asking anyone who has had problems at Desert Palms Apartments to contact them if they would like to get involved.